Denis Suarez will become Barcelona’s first signing of the transfer window.
That is according to Spanish media outlet Sport, who claim the La Liga champions will trigger the Villarreal man’s €3.5 million buy-back clause.
The Sun reported last month that Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham had all declared an interest in the attacking midfielder, but Barcelona always had the advantage.
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The Spaniard will officially join on July 1, with Barca set to instate a €50m release clause into his contract.
Suarez will sign a four-year deal with the club who sold him to the Yellow Submarine just last summer.
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It’s another example of Barca and their biggest rivals Real Madrid utilising the buy-back clause to great effect. Last summer, Madrid re-signed Lucas Vazquez after selling him to Espanyol and Los Blancos are widely expected to bring Alvaro Morata back from Juventus this summer.
Barcelona saw enough of Suarez in his debut season at Villarreal to re-sign him. The 22-year-old netted five goals in 48 appearances, helping Marcelino’s team to Europa League victory.
Villarreal should have prepared for Suarez’s exit the moment Barcelona’s sporting director Roberto Fernandez all but confirmed he would be brought back to the Camp Nou earlier this month.
Fernandez told reporters, per FourFourTwo: “Villarreal have received a notification that we are interested in the player, I think it's July 1 but I don't know the dates very well.
"And on July 1 he will be notified that he will be recovered."
Barcelona had until July 1 to activate Suarez’s release clause, or else Villarreal could have agreed to sell him to another club.
The former Manchester City player might have to get used to a role on Barca’s bench next season but Luis Enrique clearly has plans for him.
Will he be City's regret?
City must hope that he doesn’t become what Paul Pogba now is to Manchester United - a regret.
The Citizens sold Suarez to Barcelona in 2013, before getting to see the best of the player. Just like Pogba has lit up Europe in the past few seasons for Juventus, it will agonise City if Suarez becomes a star.
Suarez certainly won’t be the last to arrive at the Camp Nou this summer, and the Mirror today reported that Barcelona are interested in making a surprise swoop for Liverpool youngster Cameron Brannagan.
Though they face competition from Madrid, and Barca’s financial constraints mean their biggest rivals have an advantage in the pursuit of the 20-year-old playmaker.
Suarez, Brannagan… where’s the true superstar? Well, both Spanish clubs have been linked with Pogba.
However, it would take a deal worth over €100m to sign the highly-rated Frenchman.